Monday, December 28, 2009

Made it enfin

We did actually make it!! On Monday evening the website gave information that those people with tickets for the weekend would have priority boarding the next day, Tuesday. So we took the TGV with our modified tickets, made it to Gare du Nord and caught the 12:19 that we should have taken on the previous Sunday.

The staff were charming and helpful, and there was a table of croissants, coffee and other goodies to greet our arrival. After the stress of the previous three days, the not knowing, the 'do I or do I not DO something', it was with much relief that we found ourselves actually going to London for Christmas, in comfort and warmth. Kudos to Eurostar for the effort it made and for allowing those who'd been most disrupted to travel.

Naturally we then had to cram everything we wanted to do in 3 days into one, but at least it all got done. My eldest, aged 13 has a new wardrobe from Primark (a hell hole if ever there was one) in Men's size S, and I didn't manage to open a non-resident bank account because, simply put, there is no longer such a thing as a non-resident bank account even though two people on the phone had told me it would be possible. The banking world gets ever stranger.

Unfortunately, we had to come back on Boxing Day, it being the half-way point of the holidays so that the boys could be delivered unto their father. What with the stress, the travel fatigue and the rushing about, I spent yesterday afternoon cloué au lit, prostrate with exhaustion and low blood pressure.

Apart from that, Christmas was lovely.


  1. Glad you made it. As a client of Barclays International, I can vouch for its existence. It lives in Jersey and the IoM, and on the web it lives here:

    In London it's in King Street, Hammersmith -- but it's a bit late to be telling you that, obv. HNY.

  2. Thanks expat, but for offshore banking you need a balance of megabucks that I don't have.

    All I want is a basic account. I'm seeing HSBC this week. Again.

  3. Glad you made to Blighty for Christmas despite the delays.

    I need an ordinary British bank account and the New Husband rang his branch of HSBC in Paddington and they said next time we are over to come in with passport and stuff and they would open one for me. I think there is a minimum deposit of £50 ...

  4. That's interesting, DD. I sat for 20minutes in an HSBC branch and they came back and said all their accounts are for residents, and the non-resident account no longer exists.

    They were dying to help, but said it was impossible, and that they would bring it up at the next meeting because of the ridiculous situation.

    I hope you have better luck opening yours!

  5. Are you in England at the moment doing this? Or is it an HSBC bank in Montpellier? I would give you the name of the lady in Paddington who said she would set up an account for me, except I can't remember it and NH is out at the moment.

  6. And I am just thinking ... we opened a business account at the same HSBC in Paddington. The NH gave the name and address of his business here in Brussels, plus paperwork and stuff, and there was absolutely no problem.

  7. I think it's different for business accounts. I was wanting a basic current personal account. I'm now back in Montpellier and due to see HSBC here tomorrow, again. What they can offer is not really what I need, but it looks like I have no choice.

    It's amazing how little choice and how few options one has. Unless one has mega bucks, natch, and then they all come falling over themselves to help...


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